Category Archives: Events

Ashley & Nathan’s DIY wedding

Today, I am beyond honored to share the lovely DIY wedding of our good friends Nathan and Ashley. Now, if ever there was a soulmate couple to our own little twosome, this is “the one.” Made up of one part manly musician and outdoor enthusiast, and another part girly crafting extraordinaire, the newlywed Hilbish’s are the yin to our yang. I could sit and chat for hours with Ashley about this and that for the home. Her exceptional taste (no surprise, she works as an interior decorator for Curtains, Blinds and Bath locally) is one that I have come to rely on for bouncing ideas off of. And nothing showcases that taste better than her and her hubby’s wedding day.

Shot by the talented Colling Photography, this oh-so-special May event is just saturated in style and elegance. What I thought a lot of you would appreciate is that, while the wedding ceremony and reception look filled to the brim with exuberance, a large portion of it was created at the hands of Ashley and her family and friends.

Throughout the photos shown below, you’ll find thoughts and memories spoken straight from the bride herself. If you’re planning your own wedding this season, Ashley shares tons of valuable (and practical) advice for tackling the sometimes stressful planning stages. A full list of local event vendors is also included along with links at the end of the post. I hope you enjoy!



I never thought it would be so daunting to recollect a day that was literally just a month ago! Trying to remember your wedding day is like trying to remember your 5th birthday – You know it happened and lots of amazing people were there to share the experience with you, (and yes you have way better pictures from your wedding than your 5th birthday, unless your parents are photographers) but that’s about it! I’ve never been a “focus on me” type of girl, or so I think, so I was all about the details. I had so much fun planning my wedding with my maid-of-honor/sister and mother, it was like I wasn’t even doing it. Also, props to Pinterest because without it I would have been lost.









I really started planning everything like um … a month or two before! I’m a low to no stress type of person so I didn’t worry about stuff (but seriously, take Pilates it will help). I knew the wedding would happen no matter what and that it would be awesome because everyone I surrounded myself with was awesome. So what if I verified flowers a week before, or my caterer had something terribly tragic happen and we had to switch to someone brand new four weeks before. Just wait until you see the food. Yeah, it was awesome. You can be “that girl” who stresses over everything, but what’s the point? You make your vendors miserable AND yourself, along with everyone around you who wishes you were just eloping.










Nathan and I didn’t have any type of ideas to plan; well, frankly he didn’t care. We started out one way but as events fall into place, you can get a sense of direction on your true style. Don’t force it if it’s not meant to be, otherwise you’ll look back and you won’t even be reflected in it. Ours I think was relaxed, vintage-y, fun and personal. We had little details, from Nathan’s squirrel tie (yes, he loves squirrels and I thought why the heck not) and a group dance to break the ice prior to going down the aisle, to really cute things about us on the program to keep people entertained while they waited! It was fun to have fun doing everything, and I think it made it that much more special to the people involved because it made them know you really appreciated them as individuals. If you know your wedding party isn’t filled with “tux-loving” guys, don’t try to put them in one – They will just look super awkward in the pictures. Yes, my girls are girly in 3” designer heels and dresses from who knows where, and the guys were “the guys” with rolled up sleeves and Vans – It just worked together because we were all comfortable.





















The best advice I received that every bride should remember is that it’s your wedding! People are going to ooh and ahh over things they find, and  they will bring you magazine clippings from 1999 that make no sense to your scheme, and email you 1,000 photos of dresses you hate with hints on what they “wish” you’d do (but that you actually want to gag over), or tell you how they did it at their wedding; but what you actually decide to do is a different story. I learned to breathe deep, smile, tell them how great their ideas were, and thank them for thinking of me. I only had one huge meltdown before truly embracing that advice, and then it was all groovy! Have fun with it, it’s your day and your adventure, so surround yourself with people you love and who like to have fun, because in the end it’s so great to stand back and still have all of those people around you laughing at how ridiculous you look in a group jumping picture. 

Photography: Colling Photography
Venue: Afton Mountain Vineyards
Flowers: Doyle’s Forist (Bloom)
Dress: Celebration Bridal
Hair: Bliss Salon
Catering: Cater This!
Cake: Willie Payne (former owner of Magnolia Foods)
Coordination: R.S. Exclusive
Entertainment: DJ Mendez of Mendez Music Academy


My island shopping haul

I promise this will be my last post about our Hilton Head vacation…Okay, maybe that’s more like a soft promise, but for the MOST part I’ve already told all that there is to tell. All except for a companion piece to my HomeGoods tale – plus a few extra beach shop goodies thrown in for good measure.

As you saw last week, my mom and I had a blast browsing the island’s HomeGoods store (twice, in fact). We laid eyes on TONS of fabulous treasures during our multiple tours of the store, but could sadly only bring home a few armloads each. So what did I end up grabbing for myself? The cat is finally out of the (shopping) bag – Scroll on.



The first thing I just haaad to have was the ikat patterned Cynthia Rowley box for $9.99. The price was too good to be true, plus the on-trend pattern in a classically bohemian color palette was irresistible. You may have caught sight of it in yesterday’s studio redesign reveal (thanks for all of the love and support on that, by the way!)




To continue our “Where’s Waldo?” (or should I say, “Where’s The HomeGoods Treasure?”) in yesterday’s reveal post, one other piece ended up making the cut in the final design. The $12.99 burlap basket you see above filled with my growing everday wrapping paper collection was yet another HomeGoods steal (figuratively) that serves as great storage for the multi-functional space. Oh, and if you’re thinking it looks a little boring now, I definitely plan on adding some kind of paint treatment to the burlap down the line…



But let’s take a break from the studio for a moment and move on to a couple of kitchen-y items. That yellow patterned drying mat (for only $4.99) was just what our sink had been begging for. The old one had seen much better days, plus we could use the upgraded color and pattern – I so love when I can find utilitarian pieces in fun and perky colors/patterns, don’t you?




Okay, so the can of dog biscuits shown above didn’t actually come from HomeGoods…But I DID buy it during our trip – just at a local beach shop rather than my go-to chain home accessory mecca. I loved the color and the old school pattern seemed like the perfect fit for our retro-filled kitchen.




The glass bowl shown above is another departure from HomeGoods specific souvenirs, although it DID come from T.J.Maxx, which feels like it’s at least related. If you can’t tell from the bag of beach-scooped rocks beneath it, I plan on turning the pint sized bowl into a mini terrarium. More on that project soon!






The two pieces pictured above, the agate pendant and silver horse, both came from another of our favorite beach shops on the island. As seen in this post from 2 years ago, we always make a point to stop in at Black Market Minerals, and this trip was no different. It was a struggle to leave with just those 2 pieces in hand…


Remember how I was describing an idea for one of the inexpensive table cloths in my HomeGoods recap? Well I plan on doing exactly as announced – in other words, add velcro to the edges of the summery vinyl tablecloth pictured above, and then wrap it around the dingy glass tabletop of our outdoor dining set. I’m hoping it will act as a slip cover of sorts. We’ll all see how that turns out soon enough.




I also mentioned this sculptural gold and white frame in my original store recap last week – At just $7.99, I just had to have it. I could stand to start upgrading my frame collection, and this metallic beauty fit my style too perfectly to leave it behind.



While hardly functional in the normal sense of the word, my new $9.99 gold filled hour glass is one of those really cool signature styling pieces that I’m more than happy to welcome into our collection. The “sand” in this particular hour glass is actually tiny fine beads, making the sound a little more unique in comparison to others like it – it’s sort of dull and heavy, rather than soft and whispery.


Last but certainly not least, we have my favorite take of the day – This Moroccan style side table. At $49.99, it was the most expensive piece I bought that day, but I have some pretty grand plans for it, as I’ve hinted before. A big name brand has claimed it for a specially hosted project and review, and I can’t wait to share more in the coming weeks. So mysterious…

Have a great weekend everyone!

P.S. I’ve announced the winner of the SIGG Active Top bottle – Click here to see if it’s you!

P.P.S. In today’s Friday Feature Round Up, we’ve got 2 posts over on Le Papier Studio – a “Pin of the Day” post focused on picnicking, and an “Inspired by…” post central to the new “Children of the World” collection that was recently released. Over on Glitter Guide, I designed and wrote a feature all about 4 ways to add pink to your home. Enjoy!


Our next HHI house?

While typically today would be reserved for “The Options” feature, I’m suspending my normal schedule in lieu of catching up. In the past few months I’ve often struggled with coming up with projects to fill my weeks here but, as predicted, after coming back from vacation a couple of weeks ago, I’ve been on project overdrive – Now I have too MANY projects to share! I’ll take this problem over the former any day though. So instead of “The Options” this morning, I’m sharing yet another little sneak peek into that aforementioned vacation we just recently returned from.


One of our family’s (namely, my mom’s) favorite pastimes while vacationing in Hilton Head is planning which house we’ll stay in next. There are so many beautiful options across the island, I can certainly see why it would be a bit of a treat to imagine what our next rental property will be like. Thankfully though, mom’s tastes are pretty superb and we just sort of follow along maintenance for wells tucson az, no questions asked. This year though she let us in on the decision making for future visits, taking us on a quick tour of a new home we’d never been to before. If you want your airconditioning to work well kindly checkout Go Home Heating LLC. While wandering the hallways, I was able to snag some shots with my iPhone that I thought were worth sharing. If you want to install excellent quality security cameras, visit Inc. to learn more.





Frankly, it was love at first sight for me. I adored the streamlined modern-meets-traditional look of this house, with its stone floors, high ceilings and monochromatic color scheme. As you can see from the tour I posted last week of the home we actually stayed in, we typically go with warm, traditionally beachy homes with lots of color and styling. This house though felt almost like an Elle Decor spread (which I know is hard to picture through these grainy, dark iPhone photos, but maybe you can get a sense…).




This home was actually on the end of a cul-de-sac, with a lagoon in front and a golf course behind. It was incredibly private with neighbors on only one side, the pool nestled behind high walls and trees curtaining off the rest of the neighborhood.

To know more about the equipment, go to a closer look at the Makita



The best part if you asked my sister and me was the guest house – attached to the main house just by an extension of wall (no shared walls – more like a fence) was an extra room, complete with its own bathroom and bed. No matter how old we get, we will always love to watch movies together in bed after our parents fall asleep, so the idea of having our own private little room to giggle in is very tempting (speaking of this little tradition, I saw “When Harry Met Sally” for the first time this past trip – SO good).




After our quick tour of the home itself, it was on to the back yard to investigate the golf course and water views. They clearly did not disappoint, and neither did the pool and patio. It’s hard to be critical of your own private pool, outdoor dining and upholstered lounge chairs.



As is typical of these post-beach posts, I’m entirely depressed that we aren’t still there…But as a comfort, there are only 347 days until we go back. I can handle that. Oh, and although I was 100% on board with this house, I think the rest of the family was a little unsure about the modern look and feel. We’ll see if I can convince them for 2015’s adventure…

Where do you guys vacation?

P.S. Don’t forget! I’m giving away one of SIGG’s brand new Active Top bottles just in time for summer – Click here to enter.


A Hilton Head Island Recap

I’m so thrilled to share a little bit of last week’s family vacation with you all today! I think that I’m juuuuust about to the point where looking through these photos of our beach house won’t make me break down into tears (slight exaggeration). As for the details, we again made our dozenth trip to Hilton Head Island this year, staying within the same plantation, going to the same grocery store, eating at the same restaurants and spending time at the same beach club that we always have. I know that some people would find that kind of repetition boring (my husband included, which I suspect is why he stayed behind), but my family and I are creatures of habit and enjoy creating a home-away-from-home feeling – which is exactly what we got.

And speaking of that physical home-away-from-home, welcome to our personal little oasis for those blissful 7 days…
































Although we’ve stayed in a handful of HHI homes, this was probably our favorite. Large open spaces, a feeling of separation without a feeling of having too MUCH space, a gorgeous pool and spa overlooking a lagoon and golf course (complete with resident alligator) – It really doesn’t get much better than that…Shout out to Destination Vacations for making this trip such an organized and comfortable success.

Since this post is already too long, I’ll hold off on sharing the spoils of our shopping while on the island. But get excited for a FULL Home Goods recap soon. We don’t have one in our home town, so it’s always a big treat to go in Hilton Head. In fact, we went twice!

Stay tuned.

Behind the Scenes: My BHG photoshoot

Now, as much as I WANT to, I’m not going to give away all of the details today. My full run down of the day, complete with anecdotes and virtual breathless excitement will all be documented later on, a la this column. But I couldn’t wait to share just a tiny peek into how the day went and just how thankful I am that this moment happened in the first place.

BHG sneak peek

I was surprisingly calm the morning of the photo shoot. It may have helped that I had kicked John out of the house for the day (which he was all too happy to go along with). You know how it can be exceptionally nerve-wracking having your family in the audience? Well that’s how I felt, so it was just me, the dog and the cats roaming around the house that day until the crew arrived.

Speaking of “the crew,” it consisted of a stylist from L.A., Char Hatch Langos, and NY/NJ photographer, John Bessler (plus John’s nephew as assistant). Each was incredibly talented in what they did, both in making the shoot a success, and in helping me to remain cool, calm and collected.

I haven’t said much about WHAT they were actually photographing though, so here’s a rather big hint…


Even though my girlish ankles can be seen perched on that piece of furniture above, the REAL star of the show is our thrifted and refinished dresser. I’m so excited to share this piece with the readers of Better Homes and Gardens, and am so indescribably honored that they chose me and one of my DIYed projects to feature.

This is the stuff of dreams, folks…

More to come soon!!

Pinspiration Monday: My Better Homes and Gardens Photoshoot

Yup, you read that right! I’m so excited to announce that my smiling face will be featured in an upcoming issue of Better Homes and Gardens! Definitely a “pinch me!” moment, one that hasn’t really even hit me yet…I’m not going to give away too many details because I so love surprises, but I will tell you that my feature will be published sometime this summer and will show me alongside a project that you’ve seen on my blog in the past. Have fun guessing!


Spring Cover

So with this incredibly exciting honor comes a full fledged photoshoot! A stylist from LA and a photographer from New York are both flying in at the end of the week and, as I’m sure you can imagine, I’ve been losing sleep at night drafting up my to-do’s before Friday rolls around: mop the floors, vacuum the bedrooms, dust, declutter, prepare an extra room for equipment. And the most important to-do of all?

What the heck am I going to wear?!

I’ve been studying my “Style” Pinterest board with a figurative magnifying glass ever since I heard from the magazine, doing my best to visualize options. Do I try to use what I have? Do I go shopping? Do I have time to pull all of this together?? In the end, I’m succumbing to the fact that I need help…

Mint and Mustard

Inspiration Outfit
Mint Sweater | White Button Up | LoafersMustard Pants | Shades | Bag

Obviously my focus is on an outfit that will photograph well (I dread those camera-added extra 10 pounds…) – The BHG editor I’ve been back and forth with let me know from the get-go that pants and form fitted tops were the best bets. As soon as I spotted that outfit above on Pinterest, I felt like it was on the right track. I already own a similar pair of mustard pants that could be a fun pop of color, alongside a simple white button up and mint sweater. It reads “summer” to me without revealing too much skin. (P.S. No, I don’t plan on wearing shades or a bag, but I included them just in case you want to recreate the full look on your own!)

Jeans and Blazer

Inspiration Outfit
Blazer | WatchJeans | Necklace | White Button Up | Flats

Another thought was to wear a blazer. Blazers tend to curve in at all the right places, giving your body some shape on camera, and this camel tweed version is a gorgeous execution of that trick. To achieve the same glitzy gold look as the “Pinspiration” image, I added a sparkly gold necklace. A few more gold accessories, skinny jeans and a pair of Madewell polka dot flats that I already own, make this look a definite contender…

Navy and Coral

Inspiration Outfit
Navy Cardigan | Leather Belt | Canvas Tote | Boyfriend Jeans
Floral Pin | Suede/Leather Flats

Here’s a simplified option – Rather than the navy blazer in the inspiration outfit, I chose a tailored navy cardigan with gold buttons that’s cinched in at the waist with a thin leather belt. I adore that pop of coral color at the lapel with a floral brooch, so I tracked down a similar option on Etsy. Nude peep toe flats and a canvas tote finish this springy look.

So. What do YOU think I should wear? I’m hoping that the photo stylist can help weed through my closet and come up with just the thing to make me look like, sayyyyyy, Gwyneth Paltrow in the magazine. Finger’s crossed! ::wink::

“Perfect Pairs”: A bridal shower gift basket


As you may already know, our good friends Nathan and Ashley are getting hitched! And, with the wedding coming up in May, it was time to celebrate the bride with a special shower just for her. So us women folk gathered this past weekend to do just that, with tasty finger foods, a delicious cake and lovely floral arrangements put together by the enormously talented mother of the bride.

Mady, Ashley’s sister, was the mastermind behind the entire event and she nailed it. I wish I had more photos to share with you, but imagine handmade bunting with the letters for “Miss to Mrs” handpainted on each flag, rustic burlap table runners and springtime raffia with yellow blooms wrapped around the cake. It was perfection and felt SO “Ashley.”

But of course no bridal shower is complete without the gifts and, as I’m sure you could guess, I felt the need to get creative with mine. I really wanted to put together something unique for Ashley and eventually (after a night of tossing and turning to brainstorm) I finally came up with the idea of “Perfect Pairs,” inspired by the most perfect pair of all – Ashley and Nathan!!



The idea was to pick up useful things for the home that naturally went together – Things like a fork and spoon (a salad fork and spoon set), pen and paper (nice pens and a package of note cards) and a chip and dip (I don’t think that one needs explaining!). In order to bring the point home, I put together little tags in InDesign and Photoshop using colors to match the overall theme of the gifts – blue and green. Once printed and cut out, I was able to attach each to their respective pair using Scotch tape.







As for the wrapping, I decided to skip a paper gift bag and went with a utilitarian rubber bucket instead. It actually cost about the same as a large gift bag, but will last through whatever project Ashley puts it to.


The final step was adding one last paper cut out to the front of the bucket that simply read “Perfect Pairs inspired by Ashley & Nathan.” I think Ashley got a kick out of the gift and I hope she and her hubby-to-be enjoy all of their new housewares! We had a blast watching her eyes light up as she unwrapped things like her gorgeous new dishes, Anthropology kitchen utensils, teal Keurig, serving ware and even a stunning gold Kate Spade bracelet. Bridal showers are so much fun…And Ashley deserves every bit of love!





If you want to try this gift idea for your OWN special bride, grab a free printable of the “Perfect Pair” tags by saving the image below to your desktop and printing it on thick cardstock paper. If you would like the front tag, email me at so that I can customize the names for you. And please don’t hesitate to actually do that – If you don’t have time to write a long email, just send me a quick message with “Perfect Pairs” in the subject line and the two names in the body of the email.

Bridal Shower Gift Printable

UPDATE: Due to popular demand via the emails I’ve gotten for custom tags, I’m also including a free printable for “Salt & Pepper” below. If you can think of any other perfect pairs and want a customized tag, just let me know!

Salt and Pepper

P.S. Before I leave you for the weekend, it’s time for a quick “Friday Feature Round Up” – If you happened to miss any of the things I put together for The Glitter Guide or GalTime (my newest freelance contributor gig!) click on through – I made a DIY Gold Sequin Hair Bow (that my tom boy sister pricelessly modeled for me), chatted about incorporating florals into the home for the new season, and gathered my favorite Easter Egg Projects to try out this holiday weekend. Enjoy!

gold hair bow